In today’s digital world basic knowledge of image-editing software is essential for small business owners. Here is a step-by-step guide to performing three basic Photoshop tasks.
For centuries we’ve been heavily influenced by images – from paintings to photo prints. Only recently have we become dependent on the internet for virtually everything from information to entertainment. So, being able to attract an audience through images and other visual data on a website is increasingly important.
Unfortunately for the uninitiated, this involves the use of image editing software such as Adobe Photoshop, which has been popular among beginners and professional designers for over a decade.
Of course, it’s a bit scary at first. But read on and we’ll take you through three simple functions.
1. Understanding colour mode – RGB vs CMYK
If you’re designing an image that will be displayed on a website, the colour mode needs to be set to RGB Color – whereas if the image is being designed for print, the colour mode will need to be set to CMYK Color.
Why? RGB (Red, Green, Blue) is only suitable for screen reproduction – that is, for computer monitors and television screens. CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black), on the other hand, is the primary colour model used by colour printers; and so this setting provides a better estimation of what an image will look like when printed.
It is important to remember that something that looks fine on a screen may not retain that quality in the printed piece.
To select the correct colour mode, click on Image then Mode then RGB Color (if image is for online publication) or CMYK Color (if image is for print publication).
2. How to resize and crop an image
If you are beginning with a blank canvas and need to ensure the canvas is set to a particular size, you will need to press CTRL + N (Control and the letter N or go to File then New) and when the box pops up, adjust the numbers for Width and Height to the desired size.
You can change the measurement unit from pixels to centimetres by clicking the box next to the width or height number which will state the default measurement unit (usually pixels) and selecting desired unit from the list that pops up.
If you have already opened an image with Photoshop and would like to resize it, you will need to click Image, then Image Size and once again adjust the numbers for Width and Height to the desired size.
This will only adjust the ratio of the image. When you change the width, the height will change to fit the fixed ratio of the image.
If you want the height to remain 10cm, then you will need to change the canvas size. To do so, click Image, then Canvas Size, and change the numbers to the desired dimensions.
To crop an image use the rectangular marquee tool (the second option from the left-hand toolbar) and drag the mouse to select the part of the image you would like to keep, then click on Image, followed by Crop.
3. Adding text
If you would like to add text to your image, you will need to click on the T icon which can be found on the Photoshop toolbar on the left. Once you click that, you will be able to draw a box to your desired size over the image and type in words. Once the T icon is clicked you will find options at the top where you can choose your font, size and colour of text from the dropdown menu.
This is horizontal text. If you would like vertical text, right click on the T icon and choose the Vertical Type Tool.
If you would like to change the angle of the text, hover your mouse over any corner of the text box (where you will see a curved arrow pointing vertically and horizontally) and drag the text box around to suit the desired angle.
For more tips, Adobe Photoshop runs tutorials on their website.